I am an ambassador for Stonyfield, and as such, I receive product and compensation. All opinions and writing are 100% my own.
Like many parents, I try to eat organic on a budget (with 3 growing boys I can’t afford to buy everything organic, but I try to as often as possible!). Food prices continue to increase, and sometimes you are forced to make choices about which items you can purchase in organic form and which ones you have to sacrifice.
In our family, we try to buy organic versions of the “dirty dozen,” in addition to organic dairy products (especially milk), and meat products as available. If organic meat isn’t financially an option, I try to find natural version (no antibiotics and grass-fed for beef).
I passionately believe that organics should be affordable and within reach for all people here in the U.S., and I hope that some day the will be! Until then, there are some ways that we can make room in our budget for more organic products.
For example, while on a shopping mission for Stonyfield, I discovered that the Wal-Mart Super Center near me now stocks YoBaby, YoToddler, YoSqueezers, YoKids Squeeze, YoKids Smoothies, and more! This leads me to tip #1
Check Your Local Big-Box Stores
You may be surprised at the selection of organic items that you can find at stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale (where I buy much of our organic dairy and some produce). Because these stores are so big, they can buy in bulk and negotiate lower prices– which are then passed on to the consumer. If you like to have things delivered to your home, my favorite retailer is Thrive Market (it’s like Costco for organic and natural products!)
While you may prefer to shop at your local supermarket, it may be worth it to make a bi-weekly or monthly trip to one of the above stores to stock up on your favorite organic items! Don’t forget to check out the store-brand of organic products to save even more!
Consider Buying Frozen Organics
My boys LOVE berries, and unfortunately they can be one of the more expensive organic produce items. I often buy frozen organic berries, and I stock up when they are on sale. While you can’t always substitute the frozen for fresh, they are great in things like smoothies and oatmeal!
Organic corn is another great item to buy frozen. Corn is a product that is often genetically modified, so buying organic (canned or frozen) is an easy way to avoid GMO corn.
Buy Your Produce Locally in Season
The process of obtaining USDA organic certification can be long and very expensive– many times it’s not feasible for small farmers. You can often find organic produce (even though it may not be “certified”) at local farmer’s markets. Many times you can actually speak to the farmer or a member of the farming team and ask them questions about how the food is grown.
Many people don’t realize there are coupons for organic products too! Check out the website of your favorite brands or sites like Mambo Sprouts and Common Kindness for money-saving coupons. You can also find them near displays in the store or with your receipt when you check out (our local Stop and Shop will often print coupons for $2-$5 off your next produce order of $20 or more).
Start Your Own Garden
Growing your own organic produce is an easy way to save money. You don’t even have to have a green thumb to get started. Love tomatoes? Grown a couple of plants in large pots on your porch to have fresh, organic tomatoes in the summer.
Other vegetables that do well in pot containers include are herbs, spinach, and other greens. For fruits, try a few blueberry bushes or some strawberry plants.
If you follow the above steps, you may find that you are able to afford more organic items than you previously thought.
What are YOUR tips for buying organic on a budget?